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What We're Reading: Medicare Law Notifies About Loophole in Nursing Home Coverage


What we're reading, August 8, 2016: a new Medicare law would require hospitals to notify patients about loopholes in nursing home coverage; e-cigarette makers flooded the market ahead of new regulation implementation; and California bill on nurse-midwife independents causes controversy.

A new Medicare law requires hospitals to notify patients about huge out-of-pocket costs that they might incur if they stay at a hospital without formally being admitted. According to The New York Times, patients will receive notices if they receive observation services as an outpatient for more than 24 hours because Medicare would not pay for subsequent nursing home care. Hospitals will likely have to issue 1.4 million notices a year under the new law.

With new federal regulations taking effect, makers of vaping devices flooded the market with new products in the United States. E-cigarette devices on the market before the regulations took effect can be sold for up to 3 years while awaiting regulatory review, reported Reuters. Products like e-cigarettes, cigars, pope tobacco, and hookah tobacco will need to be submitted for government approval under the new rules. To beat the regulatory deadline, many companies shipped limited shipments and product prototypes.

A new bill in California that would all certified nurse-midwives to practice independently has caused controversy. The current law requires certified nurse-midwives to practice under the supervision of medical doctors, and doctors opposing the proposed bill argue that hospitals should not be able to employ midwives directly, according to California Healthline. There are only 6 states that require full supervision. In those states that allow nurse-midwives to practice independently, there is more access to care.

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